L’École Valrhona Pastry Chefs USA
A graduate of Culinary Institute of America, Sarah Tibbetts' stellar career includes experience at some of the most renowned restaurants and hotels in the country. In San Francisco, she worked at The French Laundry, Citizen Cake and the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room. In Las Vegas, she continued to hone her skills at the Wynn Hotel; then, as Executive Pastry Chef at the four-star Fleur de Lys; and then Michael Mina’s Michelin-rated restaurant at the Bellagio. In Chicago, she oversaw the dessert program at the Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago.
She is a 2009 James Beard Award nominee and appears regularly in national and local media. Chef Tibbetts qualified for the North American semi-finals of the Valrhona C3 Culinary Competition in Versailles, France in April 2011.
The extremely accomplished Chef Sarah Tibbetts joined Valrhona as its L’Ecole Valrhona North American Pastry Chef, through which she uses the people-skills to conduct classes for professionals; one-on-one culinary consultations and media outreach, communicating the tastes and tales of Valrhona chocolate.
Chef Paul Saiphet began his career in San Francisco working with Top Chef Alumni, Chef Ryan Scott. Chef Paul oversaw the production of ‘American-Style’ desserts in a variety of formats. He then moved on to work with Top Chef-Just Desserts winner Chef Yigit Pura at Patisserie Tout Sweet, focused on elegant, French-style desserts. Later, Chef Paul gained valuable experience in fine dining plated desserts at 2 Michelin Star outposts: Quince and Cotogna, under Chefs Carolyn Nugent and Chef Alen Ramos. In 2014, Chef Paul joined the L’Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn team lending his skill and talents in support of L’Ecole Valrhona Professional Classes and teaching several Gourmet Classes.
Derek Poirier, Ecole Valrhona Pastry Chef Western USA and 2014 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America, brings his experience and skills honed in the top hotels of the US and Canada in his work with the French chocolate maker. He teaches and conducts demonstrations in restaurants, hotels and culinary schools throughout the US and Canada.
He also develops recipes and teaches master classes attended by an international array of pastry chefs who travel to Valrhona’s famed L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat located in Tain l’Hermitage in the wine region of France’s Rhone Valley. He has represented the U.S. and Canada in world pastry competitions, including in 2003 and 2005, as a member of Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon, France which brings together the top pastry chefs from 22 countries. He advised the Team USA chefs who were training for the 2009 and 2011 competition. A native of Vancouver, BC, he currently makes his home in Arizona.
Valrhona Executive Pastry Chef - Tain l'Hermitage, France
He has gained knowledge and experience from many different areas of the business including restaurants, pastry shops, as well as from his current role as Executive Pastry Chef at L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona – Tain l’Hermitage.
His experience includes the following:
Restaurant Industry: 10 years at Restaurant Troisgros (Roanne, France), a 3-Michelin stars establishment.
Pastry shops: 5 years at Fauchon, Paris
Pastry consultant: He has travelled to more than 35 countries consulting pastry chefs across the globe.
Chocolatier: For the past 10 years, he has been working within the chocolate medium at the Valrhona L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat.
Currently, as Executive Pastry Chef at L’Ecole, he is the leader of the Valrhona Pastry Chefs team. In addition, he manages classes and various projects outside L’Ecole, including one-on-one technical assistance with customers, all the while ensuring the core philosophy of the school and its teaching values.